Georgetown’s Hyde-Addison Elementary School has reopened! Two years after the start of a massive project to modernize the school, pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students walked through the doors on Aug. 29. I joined Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee and the principal of Hyde-Addison, Calvin Hooks, to cut the ribbon and celebrate the return to Georgetown of a fantastic neighborhood school at a special community event on Aug. 21.
Residents, parents, children and school officials gathered on the playground outside of the newly renovated school to commemorate the reopening of the historic campus. The modernization project includes a new gymnasium that features a basketball court (as a former high school basketball player, I’m very excited for the students), bleacher seating for events, skylight windows to let natural light into the space and even a rock-climbing wall. Connecting the two original buildings was part of the renovation, finally making this a united facility.
The process took years to achieve, and persistence paid off. Hyde was a 1950s elementary school and Addison was an outpatient mental health facility when I took office. Over the years, I worked with every chancellor and mayor to produce a state-of-the-art elementary school in Georgetown. Former DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee converted Addison to an elementary school. Another former DCPS chancellor, Kaya Henderson, supported the creation of the campus and Mayor Bowser completed the project.
As Council member, I’ve led the effort to ensure that parents have access to neighborhood schools that are high quality with modern amenities — schools that parents can be proud to send their children to attend. Working together with community leaders, we saved Garrison and Francis-Stevens from shutting down and renovated not only Hyde-Addison, but Ross, Hardy, School Without Walls and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. A modernization is scheduled for School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens as well.
My vision is for parents and their children to have access to neighborhood schools and a smooth transition between elementary, middle and high school. This can be done, as we proved in mid-August with the reopening of Hyde-Addison and with other schools before it. We can, and must, demand that we do this across Ward 2.